Thursday, May 31, 2007
Check it out: The 101 Peaches Project.
My time has come.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
In Chinese tradition, the peach is said to be the ambrosia which keeps the gods immortal. The heavenly peach trees take six thousand years to ripen. But once they’re ripe, they’re tasty enough to keep the assembled spirits and powers happy and alive for a couple millennia more. When the peaches are ripe, all of heaven gathers for a huge peach feast. Which seems amazing. If you asked me: Brendan, of all the parties in the world’s mythological tradition (I nod) which one would you most like to attend? It would be no contest. Fuck Valhalla. I wouldn’t take a second look at the Great Hunting Grounds. Give me that Heavenly Peach Feast, anytime.
So, having devoured my first batch of peaches, I picked up a bag of white and yellow peaches from the local organic food market (on sale! 1.99 a pound!) and set them up on the windowsill and decidedly did not follow the advice of ancient Chinese tradition. I was hungry. They were sitting right there. And so – I couldn’t wait, I couldn’t control myself, I ate… a premature peach.
Sure, it tasted like a peach. And I didn’t vomit. But the flesh was hard and almost crunchy, and it had about as much sweetness as a college student in finals week. It wasn’t even juicy. And – how’s this for a final humiliation – the peach-fuzz left a weird, dry sensation on the roof of my mouth that wouldn’t go away for hours. So here’s some advice to all your readers out in blog-land: WAIT for your peaches to ripen. I know they might look tasty, and compelling. But if you feel your peach, and it feels hard, DON’T BOTHER. It won’t magically taste good just for you. Patience, patience.
And yet every morning I leave my room, and I see that pile of peaches – and I see whether today will be the day. But not yet. I’ll probably eat the whole bunch in a day when they’re ready.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
So I’ve been on a peach-eating roll. For a guy who has a blog about peaches, this might not come as much of a surprise but whatevs. Peach # 2 was by far the best. I wasn’t expecting it to be very good because it seemed a little hard and unripe, yet once I took the first bite I found it to be soft, sweet, and juicy right down to those little fibrous bits clinging to the stone. The peach was subtle enough for me to grasp the shades of flavor underneath the sweetness – when a peach is too sweet, I find you can’t really taste the floweriness that comes from a perfect peach. The other peaches were good – but nothing to write home about. I ate a couple walking out of the house on my way to trying to find a job – and having peach juice covering your hands is actually a pretty good strategy to impress future employers, I’ve found.
I walked into the local farmer’s market today to pick up peaches, having wild daydreams about how I would get to write ecstatic post after post about the amazing, heavenly, natural organic Boulder peaches that I found there. Well. Silly old me. Peaches don’t grow around here in Boulder. What does grow around here – it seems – are the usual trappings of hippy life. And while the trappings may be a bit clichéd, they’re still fine and dandy to an Iowan cornhusker like me. How can you get bored with all the idealism, the bare midriffs, the tasty, presumably healthy, sustainable, raw, cracked, buddhadharma, organic expensive food? Probably pretty easily. But walking around the packed farmer’s market, dodging people in the crowd so well I wish it were a spectator sport, I wasn’t bored in the least. I was pretty content. I wished there were some damned peaches, though.
Other things grow around here, too, besides youthful idealism: cheese, mixed veggies, salsa, coffee, and good food, exercise as personal virtue, wine bars, attractive people. The things that make up the constellation of comfortable old bourgeoisie life – the good parts of bougie life, mind you: none of that guilt or social relevance for me, thank you.
But then again I’m on a budget. I shy away from the tasty plates of Thai food, the micro-brews, the mesclun salad, and eat only peaches, cottage cheese, and cans of tuna. And try to find a job. One day I’ll get to order a seven dollar muffin from that ritzy cafe. But not today.
Here’s an idea: I’ll set up a pay-pal account one of these days, and whoever puts money into it will sponsor me going out to a restaurant and ordering exactly what they tell me to and I'll reviewing the whole experience – with panache, of course! and color! and lyricism! and I'll toss in some metaphors, too! Good idea, Brendan! We’ll see how it works. More later. And more peaches.
Peach score (overall): 7.5
Friday, May 25, 2007
After waiting for so long for the right moment to eat my first peach, the actual first peach came as a complete surprise, of course. I had walked by the peaches in my local supermarket for a couple weeks shunning the immature, inedible fruit. I'd feel them and they had about as much give as a Granny Smith. Which is not a good sign, no sir. A nice peach should not feel like a rock. But last night I decided that the supermarket peaches looked fine enough, and I loaded up my grocery bag and walked back to my house with a hope and a prayer.
I had just got back from the grocery store and was putting my little peaches into a bowl when I found myself biting into one. It’s like I was staring at a pretty girl across a party and then, suddenly, I was making out with her. Which is very nice, let me tell you – if not a bit shocking. I had picked up a peach and had found it terribly bruised – about one half of it was absolutely squishy. I knew if I left it for later it would just get nastier & nastier…. So I ran to the sink and, preparing for the worst, ate it.
It was gross. Kinda. But only the bruised bits – the rest was a good, solid peach. Nothing sublime. A bit on the tart side, but that doesn’t make for a crappy peach. The bruised parts were kinda like a sticky mass of peach puree. Which was a bit gross, but I can deal. I’ve eaten peaches so bad that they make me doubt that there is a loving god. This was not one of those peaches/
When I finished I could barely understand what had just happened. Heady, I wandered into my new room and felt a little off-balanced and could taste peach on my mouth for hours. The project has begun!
Peach count: 2
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
And I mean I love them. I think my relationship with peaches is really a little creepy when you get down to it. Okay, you're probably gonna say that you love peaches, too. And whatever it is, it can't be especially creepy. I mean, this is the internet and all. Well -
You ever cried because you ate a bad peach? I have.
You ever rubbed a peach up against your cheek just to feel the fuzz against your skin before biting in? Definitely done that.
Are you more nervous about eating a peach than you are about, say, asking someone out? I am.
So. The peaches are probably ripening somewhere out there in America, and they'll be put into a truck and shipped to wherever I am, and then I'll eat them. And document each tasty, juicy, easily bruisable experience. At least 100.
It's a hard job, sure. But I'm unemployed. I have a college degree.
1) We're talking PEACHES. No peach cobbler. No peach juice. No peach ice cream. Whole, raw, beautiful peaches.
2) If it sucks, I can spit it out. It still counts.
3) I don't have to suck at the pit or anything.